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Prospect Profiles: Tyron Smith

TYRON SMITH, OT, USC

Triangle Numbers: 6-5, 307, 5.1

Scouting Report:

Sideline Scouting:

Positives: Very athletic… Reasonably good length and long arms… Good initial quickness… Fluid movement… Good base and nimble feet… Gets good depth on his kick step… Good natural looking knee bender… Good lateral movement and slide… Good lateral range… Good balance… Re-directs quickly, stays in front of defender… Explodes into his blocks… Good arm extension… Very solid run blocker… Adequate strength… Solid somewhat inconsistent hand punch… Can get to the second level… Breaks down well and does a good job blocking in space… Can seal linebackers from the action… Good finisher… Tenacious, flashes a mean streak… Good fit in ZBS.

Negatives: Has kind of a short wind-up to his punch… Punch lacks real pop… Inconsistent hand placement, allows his hands to get wide… Defenders can get inside his body and gain leverage advantage… Rises up when run blocking… Doesn’t generate a lot of power at POA… Will lunge into some blocks… Needs to add some weight

NFL Draft Gab:

Strengths: Smith shows exceptional athleticism for an offensive tackle. He’s well-built and muscular with an even distribution of size throughout; doesn’t carry much body fat and has the frame to easily add 25 pounds or better. Very good functional strength and is able to control larger defenders once he latches on in both run support and pass protection. Extends arms quickly at the snap with heavy hands to jolt defender. Highly effective on angle and hook blocks, consistently driving opponent down the line; good lateral bend and quickness. Shows a nice burst to get to the second level with the hip flexibility to adjust to moving targets. Extremely effective on outside pulls, gets to the perimeter quickly and neutralizes the defender to clear an outside running lane; shows better straight line speed than some tight ends and can be dominant in space. Has the strength to control defenders and drive open a running lane with hands underneath defenders extended arms. Manhandles linebackers in space.

Plays with a consistently wide base in pass protection and creates a wall when he wins the snap against an outside release; shows a good hop step and wingspan. Has the hips, arm length, and natural athleticism to recover effectively even when he loses outside leverage. Handles an inside bull rush very well, dropping down to anchor and holding his base. Plays with a mean streak and finishes every play. Well conditioned, looks the same through four quarters.

Needs Improvement: Footwork is still raw; doesn’t have a natural kick slide. Tends to get flat footed and will trot instead of sliding to recover or mirror. Gets in the habit of overextending and relying on his upper body strength; needs to be more patient and wait on defender in pass protection. Doesn’t have much experience at left tackle, played almost exclusively at right tackle. Size will need to improve to maintain his overall effectiveness at the next level.

Bottom Line: Smith almost looks more like a defensive end than an offensive tackle. His athleticism and strength are impressive and jump out at you as you watch him play, he’s much quicker and stronger than his 280 pounds. I hadn’t started evaluating Smith until late in the process as I was surprised that he declared. But what I noticed about Smith, more than any other prospect, was the gradual progression in his play- especially his footwork. From week one, to week five, to week nine, to week twelve, his footwork improved each game and he began to show the ability to become more natural in his technique (went from no kick-step to a functional kick-step).

He’s not nearly a finished product, but the gradual improvement will be noticeable to teams and also show that he responds well to coaching. With no clear-cut, day one left tackle prospects available, I believe Smith’s upside and potential are higher than any other top prospect. He’ll likely start at the right side as he adds weight and technique, but the physical skills and raw athleticism are as good as it gets for a left tackle prospect.

Draft Projection: 1st round.

FF Toolbox:

After spending two years at right tackle, Tyron Smith was expected to move to the left side for his junior campaign. However, it did not work out that way and the USC lineman is still on the right side. That is the stronger side of USC’s line, but a lack of experience at left tackle may have a small negative effect on his draft status. Smith was a backup as a true freshman in 2008 before moving into the starting role the following season. He started every game until the Emerald Bowl match-up with Boston College, which he missed for academic reasons.

In 2010 Smith has continued to build upon his success and has done a fine job protecting quarterback Matt Barkley and paving the way for a solid running game. Once again Smith should receive plenty of accolades by the end of the season.

What makes Smith special is his athleticism. At 6-5 and 280 pounds, he is surprisingly quick and nimble. Yet, he does not lack in strength. He may sound a little small at 280 pounds, but Smith is an athlete who has all the strength he needs. Smith just seems like he should be a left tackle and he probably will be in the NFL. Scouts will fall in love with his athletic ability and he will blow away most other linemen at the NFL combine. That could make him a first round selection if he opts to go pro early.

VIDEO:

[pro-player width=’530′ height=’253′ type=’video’]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3HKsYCCXGk[/pro-player]

GiantsGab Thoughts:

Tyron Smith is an athletic left tackle prospect who needs to gain some weight. He’s quick, he’s agile, but he just doesn’t have the bulk. Long term, Smith may be the best left tackle prospect to come out of this draft. You can’t start him right away, except for perhaps at right tackle, and even that’s a stretch. He really needs to gain about 30 pounds, while keeping his quickness. Still, the potential is there for him to be an excellent left tackle. Pro Bowl potential. He should be there at 19. Detroit may want a left tackle at 13, but they will want pro ready, so Smith should be available at 19. The main left tackle prospects are: Nate Solder, Smith, Derek Sherrod, Anthony Castanzo and Gabe Carimi. Carimi’s going to be a second round pick. I personally like either Sherrod or Castanzo, because they can play right now, whereas Solder and Smith will take some time. You have to take a hard look at Smith if he’s there, but you also have to know he’s a project and won’t be ready to start right away.

PREVIOUS PROFILES:

Gabe Carimi

OL Anthony Castanzo

Rodney Hudson

Derek Sherrod

Marcus Gilbert

Mike Pouncey

Clint Boling

Stefen Wisniewski

Nate Solder

CB

Brandon Harris

Jimmy Smith

Davon House

Johnny Patrick

Ras-I Dowling

TE

Kyle Rudolph

DJ Williams

Luke Stocker

LB

Akeem Ayers, LB, UCLA

Bruce Carter North Carolina

Greg Jones, Michigan State

Dontay Moch, LB, Nevada

Mason Foster, LB, Washington

KJ Wright, LB, Mississippi State

Von Miller, LB, Texas A&M

Quan Sturdivant, LB, UNC

RB

Mark Ingram

DeMarco Murray

Roy Helu, Jr

Graig Cooper

Ryan Williams

WR:

Jerrel Jernigan

Randall Cobb

Titus Young

DL

Aldon Smith

Jarvis Jenkins

Phil Taylor

Corey Liuget

Pernell McPhee

Christian Ballard

Ryan Kerrigan

S

Ahmad Black


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6 Responses to “Prospect Profiles: Tyron Smith”

  1. Shane McLaren says:

    You may want to update your information. Smith weighed in at 307 at the combine and would no longer be classified a project. I think he would be my first pick as he would be the most flexible and athletic of the tackles available in this draft. When you look at the last two USC guys drafted by the Giants, Steve Smith & Terrel Thomas, we see that they are pro ready and Pro-Bowl level talents.

  2. mikes says:

    i agree with the above statement. smith is my first tackle off the boards.

  3. CHeeKZ Money says:

    I pray the 18 Gms picking above us have a different evaluation than the two guys commenting before me.

    I agree on Smith. Think we can get a top five talent if he falls to 19.

  4. […] The Giants are reportedly very interested in USC OT Tyron Smith. The 6-5, 307 20 year old could go as high as 12 to the Vikings. Smith played right tackle in college, but projects to the left side in the pros. His prospect profile is here […]

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